Thursday, June 16, 2011


My colleague, Dan Brady, has a blog entry about that late, lamented toy, Jarts. As I mentioned in his Comments section, Ma wasn't studyin' us having such dangerous things, so we had to get our ya-yas out some other way....without her knowledge.

I remember when, at seven, I discovered that my Ohio Art dart pistol would fire ten penny nails in addition to the rubber-tipped darts that came with the gun; I was thrilled, much more so than Ma was.

I dunno how many bow and arrow sets I had, but they all ended with the rubber tips coming off the arrows, the arrows getting sharpened on the sidewalk, and me getting a whipping. I never shot them at anyone, but Ma wasn't taking chances.

When I was eleven, we discovered cracker balls. These nifty little explosives could be dropped, stomped on, thrown, or fired from a slingshot, and they made the best BOOM! I packed some once in a snowball, and they still detonated. Sadly, some kids (allegedly) tried eating them, and they were taken off the market.

Speaking of slingshots, I had several of the creme de la creme....the Wrist Rocket. Loaded with a rock, a taconite pellet, BBs, or ball bearings, these were really cool, although I nearly got popped for shooting out a streetlight when I was fifteen.

Looking back, I recognize how dangerous these things could be, but I had no intention of harming anyone....I just wanted to make a little noise, is all.

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